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My Past Reflections and Future Resolutions – How About Yours?

2003 wasn’t that long ago, right? I mean, it feels like it was just yesterday. I was graduating from high school, I started college…yeah, just yesterday. Oh wait… that was 15 years ago..????!! WHAT??!! Seriously…stop. That can’t be!!

Time just whizzes by, and the more time that passes, the faster it seems to go! (I hear this all the time, but I’m finally starting to understand this time-warp firsthand)

That’s why it’s so important for us not to just look into the future, but to stop, push pause for a moment, and reflect on the past as well.

Related: 12 Questions to Reflect Upon as You Start a New Year

My Past Reflections and Future Resolutions

This past year sure was a whirlwind. Addi went from being a baby that couldn’t even crawl and somehow transformed into a babbling toddler that runs everywhere and climbs on everything. Life sure got real in a hurry, but you know what? I love every second of it.

So what else changed for us in 2017? What happened and what do I aspire to change in the upcoming year?

past reflections and future resolutions1) Relationships

Liz and I are still having a good time with marriage – we’re about 2.5 years in. There have been some bumpy moments – mainly due to me being overly controlling and thinking I’m right about everything (guilty) – but we’re working through it quite well. I’m starting to love her now more than ever.

Me and Addi – we sure have fun together. I was incredibly intentional this past year to spend time with her whenever possible, even on the weekdays when I only get to see her for an hour before she goes down to bed. Today, she definitely loves her Dada! 🙂

2018 Resolution: Encourage Liz to go out and have fun with friends (even when I’m not included) and keep taking Addi on our outdoor adventures.

2) Exercise

I used to race in triathlons (run, bike, swim) and Liz and I had fun running some 10k’s and 25k’s, but that’s just not practical these days with our young daughter. But, I still need to exercise to stay healthy, to feel good, and yes to look good too!

During most of 2017, I did a pretty good job…until we bought the project house in October. Since then, exercise has kind of taken a back-seat to working on the house. Sure, putting up drywall is some exercise, but it’s definitely not the same.

2018 Resolution: Exercise at least 3 times a week, but shoot for 5 times a week. A good mix of running, lifting weights, and swimming.

3) Faith

Like most, my faith walk has been up and down. This past year I felt was actually a pretty good one, though.

Liz and I attend church quite often, we pray together, and we’re already teaching Addi how to pray too! This year, we’ve explored ways to help others (because it’s what we’re called to do), and I think it actually impacts us more than it does those that we help!

2018 Resolution: Continue reaching out and loving others – through both physical help and financial gifts (since we can give more now than ever before).

4) Day Job

I know we’re supposed to be humble…but I have to say it. I absolutely killed it at my job this past year!

As the finance lead for a research and development team,

  • my entire team was impressed with my work,
  • my boss continually boasted that I was the most improved of everyone, and
  • we launched a product that has been selling like crazy!

It has been a great year, and it’s really opened up quite a few doors for me in my career. I see good things ahead!

2018 Resolution: Continue to impress. Stay 2-3 questions ahead. Keep thinking about what’s possible, not just the reality of today.

5) Business

Sometimes a “date night” for Liz and I is us sitting in our office, her staring at her screen, and me staring at mine. Okay, so it’s not really a date night, but it is both of us working hard to propel our businesses (that we love) to the next level.

  • For her, she’s either editing photos or learning something new about photography.
  • For me, it’s mostly writing kick-butt articles, and occasionally figuring out how to market a product that I truly believe in.

In 2017, Liz made approximately $1,500 with her photography (not too shabby for year #1!) and my website earned around $12,000. There’s room for growth in both of these numbers.

2018 Resolution: Liz wants to deliver kick-butt photos and earn $5,000. Me – I’d like to earn $25,000 with my blog. I’ll spell out how in a later post.

6) Investments

Liz and I contribute about 12% of our income into my 401k through work. This year, those investments have experienced growth of 18%, which has really spiked our net worth! We continue to add money into these accounts, and they have obviously done well, but this isn’t our main investment medium.

  • We bought a rental house in 2015 for $81,000 that’s worth $137,000 today and generates an net profit of $10,000 a year
  • Our recent purchase cost us $75,000 and we’ve got a fair amount of work to do to fix it back up, but it should be worth $135,000 and generate another $10,000 a year once we’re finished.

2018 Resolution: Rent out the new place and keep the old one occupied for a $20,000 total net profit. Then, we’ll up our 401k contribution to 15% and start saving aggressively for a new residence in the country (Liz loves horses and we both love the peace and quiet).

Your Reflections and Future Resolutions

So what about you? How would you sum up your 2017? Was it a year of success or a year of good intentions, but no action?

And what about your resolutions for the future? Do you have huge dreams? Or do you wish to just step up your 2017 a notch?

In the comments below, tell me at least one reflection (good or bad) and one resolution! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

Battle of the Mind Money

AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.


  1. These are great goals Derek! Best of luck to you and your family in 2018!

    • Thanks Joshua!

  2. Sounds like you had an awesome year. Congrats! Looking forward to seeing your progress in 2018.

    I love the new site layout as well – keep it rolling!

    • Thanks, Erik! Yeah, it was pretty great! Stay in touch, and here’s to a phenomenal 2018!

  3. I really like how you tied in things from the past into what you want for the future. These things go hand in hand and I think doing it this way increases your chances of success for your goals.

    Happy 2018!

    • Definitely! Happy 2018 to you too MB!

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